Postwar Germany: 28 Months After V-E Day (Part I)
"These pictures were taken by Mr. George T. Fonda, Assistant to the president, Weirton Steel Co., during an investigation of German industrial production. Mr. Charles Murray, Vice President, American Rolling Mill Co. was associated with Mr. Fonda on this investigation."
Amateur film covers the Ruhr in the British Zone and Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich and Nuremberg in the American Zone.
"The objective was to report on German industrial production and manpower problems and to determine the factors deterring maximum production."
Title cards [names and places listed below have been transcribed from title cards]
Some shots of people in the street; but even urban areas seem bereft of people.
"By Army Plane from London to Berlin (note destruction in Berlin)" aerials; Tempelhof Airport, Berlin; wealthy German residence; Goebbels residence in Berlin (damaged); American military headquarters (formerly Luftwaffe HQ); African-American soldier guarding headquarters salutes; General Lucius Clay and staff review troops; Ambassador Murphy; Frank Fritts, economic adviser to General Clay; colored map showing partioning of Germany; bombed out buildings; devastation; Germans scrounging in ruins;
Schillstrasse; the Reichstag; 1870 Victory Column; the Tiergarten; Russian monument to 1945 victory; Hitler's chancellery and office; the bunker where Hitler died. Goebbels propaganda radio tower; small shops emerging from the ruins; Olympic stadium; by rail to Essen; ruins in Hamm and Dortmund; the Krupp works in Essen; Oberhausen; Huttenwerk; Duisberg; Huckingen; Gelsenkirchen; Zollverein Colliery (largest coal mine in Ruhr); production charts; British Administrative Headquarters; Cologne (80% destroyed)
Terrific footage of the Rhine from a boat, farmland on hillsides, includes castles, and other architecturally distinctive buildings; Weisbaden; Giesseheim, Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co. plant; Bierbrich; Dyckerhoff Portland Cement Co.; Russelsheim; Opel Autoworks; automobile factory; Heidenheim; J.M. Voith Co.; Voehringen; Wieland Werke - aluminum;
Munich; man with amputated leg walking with crutches; title card: small private enterprise emerging: a woman asking Mr. Murray where she might get materials to make dolls; Exposition Building in Munich; Beer garden in Munich where Hitler started out; food ration lines: Bavaria; animal drawn farm carts; German Tiger tank destroyed on Bavaria farm; American military headquarters in Munich; American flag waving in the wind.
Subject: History so Important
I worry that in our present mindset, we cannot win the war on terror.
My parents emmigrated to America just before Hitler took power, their families knew they needed to get out if they could. They came from small villages near Frankfurt, and I always wondered how the remaining family members survived all they had to endure. They lost two sons who were fighting in the German army, one in a Russian prison camp. So this war remains in our minds.
I hope our young people will benefit from this work.
Subject: Limitations in the film
“This film covers close-up observations inside Post-War Germany as they existed in September, 1947.
“Our objective was to report on German Industrial Production and manpower Problems and to determine the factors deterring maximum production.”
The above seems in complete ignorance of the following background from Wikipedia: (Note: The below-mentioned pastoral plan was Morgenthau’s)
“Others have argued that credit should be given to former US President Herbert Hoover who in one of his reports from Germany in 1947 argued for a change in occupation policy, amongst other things stating:
‘There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a 'pastoral state'. It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it.’
“Worries about the sluggish recovery of the European economy (which before the war was driven by the German industrial base) and growing Soviet influence amongst a German population subject to food shortages and economic misery, caused the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Generals Clay and Marshall to start lobbying the Truman administration for a change of policy. General Clay stated
‘There is no choice between being a communist on 1,500 calories a day and a believer in democracy on a thousand’".
“In July 1947, President Harry S. Truman rescinded on "national security grounds" the punitive occupation directive JCS 1067, which had directed the US forces of occupation in Germany to "take no steps looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany [or] designed to maintain or strengthen the German economy." It was replaced by JCS 1779, which instead noted that "[a]n orderly, prosperous Europe requires the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany." Nevertheless, General Clay needed over two months to overcome continued resistance among his staff to the new directive, but on July 10, 1947, it was finally approved at a meeting of the SWNCC. The final version of the document ‘was purged of the most important elements of the Morgenthau Plan.’
“The restrictions placed on German heavy industry production were thus partly ameliorated, as permitted steel production levels were raised from 25% of pre-war capacity to a new limit placed at 50% of pre-war capacity.”
Subject: Amateur film with historic value
It's akin to my grandfathers' color photos from 1944-1946 Philippines in Leyte, Samar and Manilla: the most interesting parts are exactly what's least related to why he was there.
Subject: thank you from germany
kisses from germany to the world, and most of all to our beloved american friends , over there.
Subject: An un-polished amateur film
Eventually we get to some shots of a trip up the Rhine to the ruins of earlier mini-empires (castles) and some factories and the Munich beer gardens, but that is a let down. It is the documentation of the debris, of the utter destruction of cities - of civilian population centers - by US and UK bombing still evident years afterward that make this film highly valuable. It makes me think about how Nazi Germany thought it was an undefeatable superpower with the world's best technology and best military, yet this happened to them.
Subject: Meanwhile in Germany..
Oh, and this is all silent footage, I put on my Yahoo jukebox on, and listened to highly inappropiate music for such footage (eg "Boogie Nights" lol)